I'm probaby "preaching to the choir" with this post, but decided to offer it anyway. I've owned a Smith 638 for a number of years, but was always underwhelmed by it's performance. It's lighter than my long-gone 36, but the grouping has never been very tight and the trigger was a bear. Over time, I collected a few bits that I thought I would use to improve this classy piece. After getting my foot badly contused in a tractor accident, I had a little downtime to do some smithing and here's what I did:
Rosewood Boot Grips:
Back in my competition days, I always used wooden grips. Why? Because rubber grips don't allow easy natural adjustments after your initial firing grip is established. They just grip too
well. Also rubber grips hang up on fabric slowing your draw from in a pocket. A nicely shaped wooden grip is self-adjusting to optimal and slides nicely over fabrics.
Apex Tactical Duty/Carry Spring Kit:
This kit contains three springs and a new firing pin. The install is pretty easy (Apex has excellent install videos on their website) and you have a chance to clean/polish/lube your internals. Trigger pull is reduced from the factory 12 pound level to a smooth 9 pound double action stroke.
The result? Excellent groups and reliable function! The offhand double action strings at 5 yards had every hole touching; 1 1/4" groups at exactly the point of aim. Shooting comfort also improved as the grips I chose carried the web of my hand higher, reducing muzzle flip. My little gem now draws very quickly from a pocket holster and doesn't hang up on the shirt tail of my cover shirt when worn OWB. I'm very pleased and can't believe I waited so long to do this. If you have a factory J-Frame, these simple modifications are highly recommended.